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From: Anselm Lingnau <>
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.announce
Subject: MAILING LIST: Linux Configuration Issues - New Mailing List
Date: Wed, 08 Nov 95 20:04:02 GMT
Organization: ?
Approved: (Lars Wirzenius)
Message-ID: <>

During the last couple of days, we had an interesting discussion on
de.comp.os.linux about the configuration of software packages. Today, there
is no consensus about where configuration files for programs should go in
the file system, let alone what they look like. This is a serious problem,
because even minute changes to a system's configuration often need
considerable expertise editing lots of text files in a zillion of dissimilar
formats. During our discussion, we have heard various proposals for the
unification of formats ranging from stanza format (vaguely like what is used
on AIX) to SGML DTDs for configuration files. There has also been mention
of specialized configuration editors etc.

This is an important topic and merits research, because Unix in general is
(rightfully) viewed as quaint and difficult to set up correctly, while other
PC-class operating systems try to make life easier by providing specialized
tools for system configuration that `average users' are supposed to be able
to handle. With Linux, many users are forced to be their own system managers,
and the lack of consistency in system configuration probably scares quite
a number of people away. It seems worth trying to improve this situation.

Various people have expressed interest in pursuing this further. To make
this easier without bothering the world at large for the time being, I have
created a mailing list called `linux-conf' (the details follow at the end of
this message).

As I see it, the list's mission statement should be something like

- - Identify requirements on Linux configuration during initial setup,
  installation of additional packages, and day-to-day use

- - Evaluate existing and proposed configuration schemes, identify their
  strengths and weaknesses, suggest improvements

- - Coordinate the development of software tools (libraries, configuration
  editors) and appropriate documentation

and (if the energy and interest suffices)

- - Prepare a proposal for a standard document concerning configuration
  in analogy to the Linux File System Standard.

To subscribe to the linux-conf mailing list, send a message containing
a `Subject:' of `subscribe' to

Send submissions to

The mailing list is unmoderated. Please submit postings in English.

- -- 
Anselm Lingnau .........................
In operating-system code, log(quality) times quantity is a constant.
                                                              --- Henry Spencer

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